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Facebook announces anti-vax plans

Facebook has announced plans to take further measures to battle anti-vaccine propaganda.

The company has revealed it plans to remove groups and pages sharing misinformation from its recommendations, while it has also vowed to stop advertisers from targeting people who the social network's ad algorithm identifies as interested in "vaccine controversies".

Facebook has responded to criticism about misinformation on its platform, and now it has promised to not only stop promoting anti-vax groups and pages in predictions in its search box, but it will also make it more difficult to find them through both searches and the News Feed.

Asked why the company won't just outright remove these pages and groups, a Facebook spokesperson said it must keep a balance between "free expression of opinion" and public safety.

They told The Verge: "Counter-speech in the form of accurate information can help create a safer and more respectful environment. As with a lot of our integrity efforts, striking the balance between enabling free expression of opinion and ensuring the safety of the community is something we are fully committed to."

Facebook did suggest it plans to include evidence-based information about vaccines - taken from authoritative sources - in search results for related content.

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